It would appear that there was a possible tornado reported from severe storms yesterday in Canberra. There is a video on You-Tube here:

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29 thought on “Canberra Severe Storm & Tornado 26/01/2013”
  1. There has also been mentioned that the earlier severe storm south of Cooma was a supercell and i have no doubt this storm will also be classified as a supercell by some. Personally I don’t think any storms from this event classify as proper supercells but this Canberra storm is certainly an impressive severe thunderstorm. The tornado in this video appears to make ground contact briefly and you would get the impression that the cloud behind is wrapping around some circulation but there is no video showing the whole storm base so this tornado is more than likely only a localized circulation on the outflow.

  2. I have put together a 6 minute video from the Australia Day storms…

    It covers storms down in Cooma ,( I missed most of the Dalgety storm) and also the Canberra storm viewed from the eastern suburbs.

    The Cooma storms took their time to organise but eventually formed into a line of several storms and became marginally severe just east of Cooma,containing a few hailstones to 3cms, mainly 1-2cm( I did originally call hail up to 3- 3.5cm in the heat of the chase, but decided to make a downgrade) Rain was torrential with flash flooding in Cooma, and there were some small hail drifts. The line was riding a boundary and really gathered momentum Northeast of Cooma. Some of the bases today were rather nice and became quite low at times! These had some rapid cloud motion. The lightning wasn’t overly active,until the storm got organised between Cooma and Numeralla. This is when it put down a brief flurry of clear air super charged bolts. Unfortunately I couldn’t quite get ahead of the line again until Michelago, by which stage it had weakened.

    I did however intercept the Canbera storm. From my vantage point, there was some elevated shelf structure and some greenage, but I think the storm had weakened somewhat by the time it reached me… I experienced winds to 50km/h and some heavy rain. The lightning was the main talking point with cgs coming down in every direction with great thunder.

    More storms up around Tarago contained some impressive lightning rates with flash a second at times!

  3. Hi Michael, I saw a brief video of one of the lightning bolts you saw, it was awesome! The problem with chasing down near Cooma is you would’ve had to speed to get up to the north side of Canberra to get the best vantage point for the later storms. You almost have to pick one or the other and the southern stuff looked better in the models. I would love to see some pics of the early storm near dalgety.

    I could see the differential motion you were talking about, it was a very nice line of severe storms and the lightning in the Canberra storm was very intense!

  4. Michael Keene, that video is aweesome showing some nice low bases later in the video and boundary reactions. In some ways, the storm showed similar behaviour to Bathurst – frequent lightning, shelf clouds and hailstones of similar size! Awesome!

  5. There is now another angle of this “tornado” at Canberra and from this angle it looks like a gustnado and not a true tornado.

    Also there is some speculation of a hook echo to match this “tornado” at 6:10pm. Have a look at the radar here as I can’t see anything except an outflow dominant storm:

    See : 128km Radar Loop for Canberra, 01:00 26/01/2013 to 10:00 26/01/2013 UTC

  6. A lot of people have also mentioned how fast the storm beared down on Canberra, also a sign of an outflow dominant storm.

  7. You know, after watching the radar several times I could be convinced the Dalgety storm was a supercell. There is definitely radar evidence that it was a left mover from a storm split and it showed evidence of both moving left and also anchoring in the relative wind flow.

    I hope we will see some images of it just after initiation.

  8. another video posted by Jeff Brislane and I agree it provides another perspective to the 'tornado'. There is debris in the air. It looks to be behind the gustfront. I am wandering if this occurred when the southern storm interacted with the northern storm?

  9. Depends what you mean by southern storm and northern storm. I think @ the time of the tornado it was just one big storm. Any southern storm would have been @ Bredbo and that was decaying. Some time before this (about an hour before there had been a cell near Wee Jasper and one between Hall and Murrumbateman, but when they over ran me at 6.00 pm (tornado at 6.10-15 pm) it was just one storm. By the way an hour or so before the tornado, there had been a very low updraft/meso near Wee Jasper. By the way, I think your comment about it being behind the gust front is probably accurate.

  10. Hi Michael, yes what I am looking for is a an interaction between some form of outflow boundary. However, I cannot make out the structure in the photograph of the storm at the point west of Canberra. Interesting base and probably where the possible 'tornado' occurred.

  11. The rotating feature almost overhead had a brief debris circulation on the ground, not sure about what was being watched out on the horizon though. That was pretty distant for me to tell.

  12. Jeff, although that particular photograph looks interesting and may be linked to the apparent tornado, the whole series of pictures do not show this feature from what I could tell.

  13. This Canberra storm did interact with the boundary from the southern storms that moved north but that interaction occured over Queenbeyan. You can see a brief intensification on the radar there followed by complete collapse.

  14. Hi Jimmy, Jeff – not sure what photos you are referring to re. your reference to "photograph" and "series of photos". If it's the ones I took, they were taken 3-4 kms north of the reported tornado/spin up track and looking north away from the track area. The meso/updraft pictured on your extreme storms web site, taken by me, is heading towards me. My photos were taken between about 5.45 and 6.05 pm about 10 minutes before the tornado/spin up was reported to have happened. Cheers, Michael

  15. Hi michael, if this feature meso was taken by you, was it not sufficiently rotating enough for you to film the tornado?

  16. Michael, did you see the rotation or photograph it? At that distance it may have been difficult but the rotation in the base of a developing tornado is unmistakeable.

  17. Hi Jimmy I didn't witness the tornado/gustnado Jimmy so I can't say. One of the witnesses and photographers to the spin up, on the ACT riot act website gave a description of a spin up on the ground, condensation funnel an funnel poking down from cloud (as I understood his account). I am not sure that this is indicative or tornado or could happen with a gustnado. People around where I stood, which was some distance from the aforementioned tornado/gustnado and sometime before its occurence, reported seeing stuff being sucked up to the funnel I took a photo of. I also photographed a meso like formation which occured during rapid strengthening and intensification of the storm. An hour earlier, from some distance (5-10 kms) I saw a wide lowering scraping the ground. So this was how I and others experienced the storm Jimmy. Certainly the best I've seen locally. Regards Michael

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